According to Rav Kook, it is ideal to be a vegetarian. This is because he assumes G-d would not create a world in which creatures could not exist in harmony (see linked article) and therefore this would include killing animals. How, according to Rav Abraham Isaac Kook in A Vision of Vegetarianism and Peace would the necessary leather and parchment for things like Tefilin or Torah scrolls be obtained?

  • 1
    What does vegetarianism (not eating animals) have to do with leather? Do you eat leather? Also, please cite your claims about Rav Kook (Tzvi Yehuda? Avraham Yitzchak?) and be sure to be precise what exactly he claims is ideal (and perhaps what he means by "ideal" if that is the language he uses).
    – Double AA
    Jan 20, 2014 at 19:57
  • You haven't addressed multiple points in my comment which are essential to understanding your question. The citation is nice, as a verification, but without further clarity the question is still pretty unanswerable.
    – Double AA
    Jan 20, 2014 at 20:05
  • 1
    related: judaism.stackexchange.com/a/18873/603
    – Menachem
    Jan 20, 2014 at 23:25
  • Vegetarianism =/= veganism .....the former being "the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat," the latter being "the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products" ....correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Rav Kook only discussed vegetarianism, while this question asks only about vegan practices.
    – MTL
    Sep 23, 2014 at 18:47
  • The primary issue was that short of slaughtering, there would be no way to acquire kosher leather. As the chosen answer indicates, there need not be any slaughter as the leather of naturally dead animals may be used. Sep 23, 2014 at 19:06

2 Answers 2


Tefilin, etc., can be made from animals that die on their own (see e.g. The source in the Talmud is Shabbos 108a). Thus even under a situation where killing animals wasn't possible, leather would still be available.

  • That would not be the answer "according to Rav Abraham Isaac Kook in A Vision of Vegetarianism and Peace." Jan 20, 2014 at 20:08
  • @YEZ How do you know?
    – Double AA
    Jan 20, 2014 at 20:08
  • @DoubleAA See the article linked in the question, in which R' Kook says that vegetarianism should not be practiced today, and it is an ideal for the future. Mitzvos were given which necessitate killing animals, and Rav Kook was not against that b'zman hazeh. Jan 20, 2014 at 20:11
  • @YEZ What is the relevance of that statement? Tefillin is not a mitzva which necessitates killing animals...
    – Double AA
    Jan 20, 2014 at 20:12
  • 5
    +1. The question asks specifically about killing animals and t'filin and k'lafim, and this answers it directly and with a good source.
    – msh210
    Jan 20, 2014 at 21:09

You could ask the same question about sacrifices and egla arufa and many mitzvos that involve killing animals. Rav Kook's point is that killing/eating animals is a temporary allowance, and the ideal will return to the way it was with Adam who did not have the right to eat (and possibly to kill) animals, and did not have tefillin. For now, it is certainly allowed.

How he dealt with the Rishonim who say that there will be sacrifices in the third Temple, I don't know.

  • Well, the issue more is that there are plenty of Jewish vegetarians (myself included), and I was wondering based on the ideas of Rav Kook how someone could do that. Jan 20, 2014 at 19:56
  • he infers this from the mention only of the meal offering in the final suplication at the end of the amidah about the Third Temple, in עולת ראיה I believe.
    – Baby Seal
    Jan 20, 2014 at 19:57
  • That's a different question. Rav Kook wouldn't help a vegetarian today. He himself was not a vegetarian. He was in fact against vegetarianism today (in his pamphlet about the ideal). Jan 20, 2014 at 19:59
  • @AvramLevitt I thought being a vegetarian here only meant not eating meat.
    – Baby Seal
    Jan 20, 2014 at 19:59
  • 1
    @BabySeal That is fine, but the Rambam is explicit about this point in the Yad (despite his comments in the Moreh). Jan 20, 2014 at 20:02

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .